Best ST joypad?

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Re: Best ST joypad?

Postby catmando » Wed Apr 22, 2015 6:32 am

Big joystick review: Atari ST Review, issue 2, p114-117
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Re: Best ST joypad?

Postby kodak80 » Wed Apr 22, 2015 6:46 am

My personal favourite is a Zipstick. Thanks catmando. Here is the review from Atari ST Review issue 02 archive. Issue was publsihed in June 1992:

issue2-116.jpg

issue2-117.jpg

issue2-118.jpg

issue2-119.jpg
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Re: Best ST joypad?

Postby simonsunnyboy » Wed Apr 22, 2015 5:07 pm

Very interesting article. I had the Mega Star in 1992/93 and I personally liked it a lot even I am more a Competition Pro user by now.
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Re: Best ST joypad?

Postby christos » Wed Apr 22, 2015 11:03 pm

From that list I prefer the Superstar (10). It was the most durable of all the joysticks I had (after the original atari ones). It survived the most rounds of A8 Decathlon. Also it felt very good in games and it very nice to look at.

Thinking of this, I remember the excitement of getting a new joystick. It was a great feeling and I really miss it. I don't think getting a new controller has the same appeal to kids today..
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Re: Best ST joypad?

Postby BlankVector » Sat Apr 07, 2018 11:27 am

Zamuel_a wrote:I always prefered to use a game pad for platform games and want to have a separate button for jump and fire. I hate to use joystick up for jump. I never got any precision in the game by using this.

See there a non-destructive solution to jump with button 2 with a SEGA Master System pad. With minor modification, it can also work with an Amstrad CPC+ / GX-4000 pad, and maybe other pads. English subtitles available.

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Re: Best ST joypad?

Postby leglod » Sat Apr 07, 2018 12:38 pm

Je l'avais fait a l'epoque avec un pad megadrive :)
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Re: Best ST joypad?

Postby Hazzardus » Sat Apr 07, 2018 5:44 pm

NikolaL wrote:Consider stfm(wery small) as rom computer. You enter floppy, and power on!
What happend next. Joystick, precision on swiches makes you playing with precision more then game. Then people me start to do post replys here to get joypad.
I really need atleast one, two is best for stfm.


Wut? :lol:

For me I always use a Sega Master System pad or one of these https://segaretro.org/Maverick_1 which were also designed for the master system.
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Last edited by Hazzardus on Sat Apr 07, 2018 5:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Best ST joypad?

Postby Hazzardus » Sat Apr 07, 2018 5:45 pm

doublepost

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Re: Best ST joypad?

Postby Foxie » Sat Apr 07, 2018 7:36 pm

MrMaddog wrote:The Mega Drive/Genesis gamepads will *not* work in the ST's joystick port (both 3 & 6 button) because the extra button signals lock up the keyboard controler chip. That's why the mouse and keyboard lock up when you use it.


Not only that, but using a Mega Drive gamepad on an Atari could kill your Atari!

Why could this happen? Pin 5 on the Mega Drive gamepad is power. There is most likely a capacitor in the gamepad between power and ground.

Unfortunately pin 5 on an Atari connects to the keyboard processor. It's an output which is mostly high and goes low periodically. When it's high, the capacitor inside the gamepad will charge up. When it switches low, the entire charge in the capacitor gets dumped into the keyboard processor's I/O pin. If the capacitor is beyond a certain size, this could kill the pin. That pin is essential for reading the mouse and joystick.

Even if the keyboard processor survives this abuse, it will certainly keep the pin from going low and reading the joystick at all.

The mouse port has no problem. Pin 5 is not connected on the mouse port. Pins 6 and 9 are both inputs on the mouse port so you can use two buttons on the gamepad. The gamepad won't be able to receive power through pin 5, but it can suck power parasitically from pin 7 through the ESD protection diodes inside the logic gate. This may or may not work reliably.

You can use a Mega Drive gamepad reliably in both ports of an Atari ST or Amiga with the following circuit:

Code: Select all

   Mega Drive pad pin   ST or Amiga pin
   1-----------------------1
   2-----------------------2
   3-----------------------3
   4-----------------------4
   5--------------------------+
   6-------|<--------------6  |
   7-----------------------7--+
   8-----------------------8
   9-------|<--------------9
   Pin 5 on the ST/Amiga MUST be left unconnected.
   Pins 5 and 7 on the Mega Drive pad are both connected to pin 7
   of the ST/Amiga.
   |< is a schottky diode, cathode (striped side) on left.
   Any schottky diode will work, examples are 1N5817, 1N5819, 1N5821,
   1N5822, MBR160, MBR350, MBR1100, SB130, SB140. You may be
   able to use an ordinary silicon diode but it may not be reliable.
   Buttons B and C on the pad are used, the others are unused.
   On the ST, in order to use two buttons it must be connected to the
   mouse port (although it can also be used in the joystick port, only
   button B will be supported)

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Re: Best ST joypad?

Postby BlankVector » Sat Apr 07, 2018 8:41 pm

(speaking about Pin 5 of ST Joystick port 1)
Foxie wrote:That pin is essential for reading the mouse and joystick.

How is this possible, since normal joysticks don't use the Pin 5, and the mouse is plugged in the other port?
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Re: Best ST joypad?

Postby Foxie » Sat Apr 07, 2018 9:42 pm

BlankVector wrote:(speaking about Pin 5 of ST Joystick port 1)
Foxie wrote:That pin is essential for reading the mouse and joystick.

How is this possible, since normal joysticks don't use the Pin 5, and the mouse is plugged in the other port?


Pin 5 is also connected to the enable pin of a 74LS244. The pin is driven by an I/O pin on the keyboard processor. It's pulsed low each time the keyboard processor reads the joystick and mouse. The 244 connects the keyboard and mouse signals to the keyboard switch matrix:

Keyboard schematic.jpg


If that pin on the keyboard processor gets damaged, the 244 will either be stuck enabled or stuck disabled. If it's stuck high it won't be so bad - you'll completely lose the mouse and joystick but at least the keyboard still works. If it gets stuck low, the keyboard won't be readable.

The likelihood of killing the ST depends on how much current the keyboard processor can sink. It may be self-limiting to a safe value, the datasheets rarely describe short circuit behaviour. If it does get damaged it will be hard to repair. The keyboard processor is a masked part, you would need to find an entire replacement keyboard.

I don't know why Atari chose to connect to pin 5. It could be used as some kind of clock signal for something that isn't a joystick. It could also be used for auto-fire. You could reliably input one nibble of data each time the keyboard processor reads the port. Could it be Atari were planning to release a multi-button joystick with some active circuitry? With a binary counter and 8-1 multiplexer you could read at least 6 fire buttons.
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Re: Best ST joypad?

Postby BlankVector » Sun Apr 08, 2018 8:52 am

Thanks Foxie for this precise information.

Foxie wrote:I don't know why Atari chose to connect to pin 5. It could be used as some kind of clock signal for something that isn't a joystick. It could also be used for auto-fire. You could reliably input one nibble of data each time the keyboard processor reads the port. Could it be Atari were planning to release a multi-button joystick with some active circuitry? With a binary counter and 8-1 multiplexer you could read at least 6 fire buttons.


Very possible. This opens many possibilities, while requiring special hardware in joysticks, and appropriate drivers.

So, for normal usage, conclusion is: always leave Pin 5 unconnected, do not plug unmodified Mega Drive joypads.
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Re: Best ST joypad?

Postby krupkaj » Sun Apr 08, 2018 9:40 am

Also it is not recommended to use Atari 7800 with the ST. Original 7800 controllers do not damage the port but disable the keyboard.

Do not use Telegames 7800 Super Deluxe Joystick with ST at all. There is different buttons circuit equipped with autofire and it could damage the MCU in the ST keyboard.

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Re: Best ST joypad?

Postby Mister DID » Sun Apr 08, 2018 7:16 pm

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Re: Best ST joypad?

Postby Mister DID » Sun Apr 08, 2018 7:17 pm

Oups ! double post sorry :oops:

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Re: Best ST joypad?

Postby Foxie » Sun Apr 08, 2018 9:52 pm

You may be able to use an Amiga CD32 gamepad on the ST. The CD32 uses pin 5 as an input to the joystick, so it's safe. Depending on the firmware in the ST's keyboard processor, the fire button may or may not work. You will only be able to use one fire button. Disconnecting pin 5 will make the fire button work regardless.

When the CD32 gamepad is connected to the ST, don't hold the right mouse button down for more than about 10 seconds. It could stress the gamepad.

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Re: Best ST joypad?

Postby solskogen » Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:54 am

I remember a joypad I had, but I dont remember the name. It was white-ish, and fit perfectly in both hands. It was a two-part seperated pad, with one part going on one hand and the other in... the other hand. It worked a bit like todays Nintendo Switch thingys, so on left was the d-pad and on the right you had the button(s)

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Re: Best ST joypad?

Postby Hazzardus » Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:00 am

solskogen wrote:I remember a joypad I had, but I dont remember the name. It was white-ish, and fit perfectly in both hands. It was a two-part seperated pad, with one part going on one hand and the other in... the other hand. It worked a bit like todays Nintendo Switch thingys, so on left was the d-pad and on the right you had the button(s)


or you mean,THE BUTTON :lol: if the ST is concerned!

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Re: Best ST joypad?

Postby collins » Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:14 am

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